Saturday, October 23, 2010

Soy butter cookies with chocolate squares

A trip to Ambrosia last weekend provided two samples of Safe4School WowButter, a product which I initially thought would be similar to the vegan margarine I use. What I discovered instead was a product which is a substitute for peanut butter — one which doesn't have the heady initial impact of peanut butter, but which finishes exactly like peanut butter. In other words, a very interesting prospect to someone who uses peanut butter sparingly. Matt pointed out that I could make "peanut butter" cookies, a suggestion which I was glad to discover that others have also considered. has a recipe for Classic Peanut Butter Cookies. Reviews of the recipe suggested increasing the flour and peanut butter content by ½ cup each, and adding a teaspoon of vanilla in with the eggs. The ingredients I used, then, are as follows:
  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 1 ½ cup soy butter
  • 1 cup organic white sugar
  • 1 cup packed organic brown sugar
  • 2 large, organic eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups organic, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
    (due to the margarine being unavailable in unsalted)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
After flattening out each cookie, I added a dark chocolate square to each indent since the "test cookies" I baked proved somewhat lacking in sweetness.

The end result is a cookie which doesn't have the strong peanut butter flavour of real peanut butter cookies, but which is a pretty good approximation, and certainly worth doing if you have peanut sensitivities. I'd probably make this again, but I'm more likely to attempt making No-Bake WOWBUTTER Squares first, since I've been craving the peanut butter squares at Eve's Temptations in
St. Lawrence Market for well over a year now, which I swore off while I was pregnant.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

In further baby- and food-related news

Kara waited until she was a full 6 months of age before really committing to eating solids. She was on Day 2 of the introduction of blueberries when — to our surprise — she ate an entire ice cube-sized serving worth of them, then went on to eat another.

While I'm introducing relatively benign foods (i.e., ones which I've never had the slightest allergic reaction to, nor has anyone else I've heard of), I'm only waiting 3 days before introducing a new food in earnest. This is less than the sometimes-recommended waiting period of 7 days to await signs of an allergic reaction. As a result, in the short time during which she's been eating solids, Kara has eaten:
  • bison
  • organic brown "Basmati" rice (in breast milk)*
  • organic pear
  • blueberries
  • Ontario peas
  • organic carrot
  • organic sweet potatoes*
  • organic chicken
*Kara's response to these foods has been lukewarm so far

Kara has also had "tastes" of banana, fig and prune, which I allowed her to try while I was eating them, and hope to introduce to her at a later date.

For now, I'm really excited about the fact that Kara's been exposed to fairly high quality foods (local and/or pesticide-/hormone-free when possible) and the fact that she's had a wide enough variety of foods she's been exposed to that I can make something resembling a meal for her at each feeding time.

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Kara's managed to "cry it out"

About 30 minutes ago, Kara was able to put herself to sleep. It's Day 2 of using a makeshift Ferber Method in the hopes of getting her to learn how to put herself to sleep. Yes, that means that we've had to soothe her to sleep every time she's slept for the past 6-months-minus-2-days. Additionally, Kara has decided that she's just so happy to be alive that she doesn't want to miss a minute of daytime, so she goes some days in which she catches one 45 minute nap, and otherwise doesn't nap for longer than 2¼ hours in total, even when she's sick.

This morning, she didn't end up sleeping until she drifted off following her 7am feeding. She spent the hour previous to that crying in a manner similar to the one she used to use when she hated her car seat — a place where she will contentedly nap now. I took that as a sign that she was realizing that she was going to have to figure out how to relax on her own.

Kara napped briefly during a 10am walk that Matt took her on, then following her 2pm feeding for 2 hours with me, and another short nap again around 7pm, following a feeding. After her 9:30pm feeding (a little later than her usual 8:30pm feeding due to the fact that today was washroom-cleaning day), I put her down to co-sleep and she started fussing almost immediately, which prompted me to bring her downstairs to her crib (my approach: try to go easy on her first, then get progressively "harder" on her to show her I'm not rewarding bad behaviour). Her cries following the first 15 minutes became the familiar I-did-this-with-the-carseat cries, so I told myself to wait for 20 minutes instead. She was able to put herself to sleep, woke a few times, whimpering progressively less each time, then finally fell properly to sleep around 10:30pm. She woke briefly a few minutes ago and Matt was able to calm her back to sleep by shushing her and rubbing her chest.

I'm telling myself not to feed her until 12:30am at the earliest, so hopefully she learns that she can wake for feedings and no other reason. With any luck, she'll also start to normalize her feeding schedule, as she is usually a snacker (my "fault", but motivated by bad advice). Today's feeding times sorted themselves out quite nicely as a result of last night's hard-line approach, so maybe I'm actually hitting two birds with one stone this way.

Once this hurdle has been jumped, I'm hoping she'll sort out a longer feeding schedule on her own, rather than requiring me to "push" her. As always, I'm cautiously optimistic regarding Kara's progress in this arena. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last time I have anything to say about the Cry It Out method.



I never thought I'd be the type of parent to attempt allowing my baby to "cry herself to sleep" (checking up on her periodically, of course), but after several nights worth of waking every hour or two to give Kara pathetically small feedings before she drifted back off to sleep (she wasn't even allowing herself to be soothed back to sleep), I've placed her in her crib to allow her to cry. I'll still offer to feed her, but that time is a long 35 minutes away.

Update (for Em's benefit, really): She cried regularly (except for when I'd check in on her) until I fed her at 4am, then kept crying in that manner until about 5am, when Matt and I tried to get her to settle down on her own while co-sleeping with her. That didn't work, so we put her in her bassinet. It wasn't until about 6am that she started trying to get herself to sleep, and then she was waking fairly frequently after it appeared that she was startling awake. She fell asleep after her 7am feeding and woke around 8:15. Since then, she's had one nap and is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I'm hoping another solution presents itself today/tonight or she catches on quickly.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hells, yeah!

Kara had a 4¼-hour sleep last night between feedings. I was able to catch all but the first ½-hour of it. The night before also yielded a four-hour sleep between feedings.